Behind the Scenes of A Witchy Mystery: Crochet Pattern ebook
It’s my favorite time of the year: spooky season! And in honor of this festive time, I want to share something a little different with you. Normally when crochet designers publish patterns, you only see the pretty end result, but there is so much more that goes into each and every design. And that’s why I want to share some behind the scenes of A Witchy Mystery: Crochet Pattern ebook
Before we dive in, if you’re interested in reading the short story that accompanies this pattern ebook, you can skip down to that section at anytime.
Behind the Scenes of A Witchy Mystery: Crochet Pattern ebook.
The original idea
Back in December or 2022, I sat down to plan all my content for 2023 with my biggest project being specifically for Halloween. I thought it would be super fun (and a challenge) to design 31 mini patterns for the 31 days of October. And to make things even harder on myself they would all have a theme to follow.
So I started brainstorming pattern ideas, but I only managed to come up with about 22 initially. I figured I had plenty of time to come up with the last 9 ideas.
In between working on other patterns I planned to release earlier in the year like Kelvin the Temp Snake (Jan.) and Sia the Strawberry Squid (Feb.), I started designing the central pattern for this collection: Cassandra the Cat.
And I’m going to be super honest here, I had never before designed a 4-legged mammal that I was 100% happy with. So it was a challenge and I frogged her many, many, many times before I finally settled on her final form in April.
Things never go to plan…
Once Cassandra was in testing, I started working on the other mini patterns in the ebook like Todd the Toad, the Bubbling Cauldron and Cassandra’s Witch Hat. However, I ran into a LOT of problems with another design (Saffron the Skunk) and had to put the ebook on the back burner for a while.
Then I was co-running a month-long group CAL in July AND I was selected to create a design for a book publication (something that is still in the works, so I can’t talk a lot about it yet). All of which was simultaneously exciting and overwhelming. In between all these other projects, I tried my best to work on the mini designs, but it was slow going.
Especially when I had to frog Cassandra’s Witch Hat 9 times…
I realized I would never be able to create 31 quality patterns by my deadline, so I decided to take a new approach.
Mixing story-telling with crochet…
Something I’ve never really talked about publicly before is my secondary dream of being a writer. I absolutely LOVE reading and getting immersed in a good fiction story. However, I haven’t actually tried to write any stories since I was like 13 (and those teenage angst stories shall never see the light of day, haha).
Needless to say, when I sat down to draft a story centered on my main character, Cassandra, I was super nervous.
But I pushed through that fear and started creating several mini designs that would be featured in the short story like the Grimoire and the Crystal Ball. However, it wasn’t long before I realized I would need some kind of villain.
I actually designed and crocheted Benjamin the Bat only a few days before his debut in the story released, which is probably the fastest I’ve ever whipped up a full animal with so many features. And by this time it was already September and I was quickly running out of time to finish everything.
A Witchy Mystery is born
My testers saved my butt by getting Benjamin tested quickly and my tech editor, Candice Klyne (check out her website here) was an angel by going over this huge project in less than 2 weeks. They all helped me turn 11 patterns into a comprehensive ebook that I am so incredibly proud of.
All of this is to say, after 9+ months of designing, re-designing, filming, editing, writing, photographing, marketing, editing…it’s finally done!
- 62 pages
- 11 individual patterns
- 100+ photos
- 7 tutorial videos (3 of which are exclusive to the ebook)
- And a Bonus Challenge at the end!
And in the words of Kitty from That 70’s Show, “…Well, that was fun! I’m gonna go to bed for a few days.”
Short Story: A Witchy Mystery
The following short story is written by Chanel Beauchamp-Snyder of cbfiberworks. All rights reserved. It is not allowed to be copied, redistributed or sold in any form.
There once was a beautiful girl named Cassandra and she was born with the gift of prophecy. She could predict the future with amazing accuracy and grew into a powerful witch. But there was one drawback to her gift…The only future she couldn’t see was her own.
And one day she received a mysterious potion as a gift. Despite the oddness of the present, she felt no reason to doubt the sender when it claimed the potion would amplify her gift. So she decided to drink a small bit to see what would happen. But then everything went black…
When Cassandra came to, she was horrified to realize she’d been turned into a cat! With midnight black fur, paws and large white eyes, she looked nothing like her former self.
“Are you alright, Cass?” a voice asked. Startled, Cassandra looked down to find her familiar, Todd looking up at her curiously.
“You can talk?” she asked blankly, still reeling.
“Of course! All animals can talk to each other,” he responded brightly, completely unaffected by her new feline nature.
“I see. Do you know what happened to me?” She’d never heard of animal transformations through potions. Perhaps it had combined with a spell?
“No, but I can still sense your magic. You’re a great witch! We can figure it out!” Todd croaked.
Todd quickly retrieved Cassandra’s grimoire, balancing the large tome on his head with practiced ease.
“Do you think the potion was meant to hurt you?” Todd asked curiously.
Cassandra reached to take the book, but fumbled, unused to her new paws. Finally, she managed to unhook the clasp with her claw and flip it open.
“I don’t think so…” she said slowly. “I didn’t sense any malignant intent and I have been looking for a way to enhance my sight.”
Todd was uncharacteristically quiet for a bit while she scanned the pages. This grimoire had been passed down in her family for generations and it contained centuries of knowledge and magic.
But all references to animal transformations were temporary spells… She froze.
There was an entry about a young wizard that was cursed into the form of a bat, but it didn’t specify how. Hmm…
She needed to find this bat, Benjamin, and see what he knew.
Excited to finally have a course of action, Cassandra tried using her sight to find this young wizard, searching his future. But no matter how she concentrated her mind’s eye remained blank.
Strange. Perhaps he was blocking her somehow?
Slightly frustrated, she turned to her crystal ball and peered inside.
“LEAVE ME ALONE!” a voice suddenly boomed from the ball, startling her and Todd.
Quickly gathering her wits, she hurried to peer into the foggy glass again and smirked. Even if it seemed he didn’t want company, he wasn’t very adept at hiding his location.
“Let’s go get some answers, Todd!”
Todd hopped atop her hat and Cassandra summoned her broom before taking off.
“Do you think he’s involved or just grumpy?” Todd asked.
“It’s too soon to tell, but let’s be prepared for anything.”
Landing softly outside his cave, Cassandra and Todd cautiously approached the large fruit bat that was focused intently on chewing the pumpkin in his claws.
“So you’ve been cursed too, huh?” Benjamin snarked between mouthfuls of pumpkin.
“We’re not sure if it’s actually a curse. Is that what happened to you?” Cassandra asked patiently.
Finally meeting her white eyes, Benjamin said, “You drank the potion, didn’t you?”
Startled that this long-shot of an idea seemed to be bearing fruit, Cassandra asked cautiously, “Do you know who sent it?”
Todd hopped up beside her, but again he was uncharacteristically silent and he watched the bat across from them.
“Why should I tell you? What’s in it for me?” he responded grumpily, but she didn’t miss the way his eyes flicked to the side for a split second.
“Well, you’re a fruit bat. What if we get you some super delicious fruit?” Todd chimed in with an easy smile.
Benjamin whirled, throwing his half-eaten pumpkin at the little toad, who barely managed to leap out of the way.
“I HATE fruit! And you have no right to speak to me–”
“Don’t you dare talk to him like that!” Cassandra interrupted with a snarl.
Benjamin suddenly smiled cruelly, “You don’t get it, do you? You want to know who sent that potion? Why don’t you ask your little pet?”
She expected Todd to deny the ridiculous insinuation or at least laugh, but he just lowered his eyes in shame.
So it was true…but, why? They were basically best friends and that bond had only strengthened once she could properly communicate with him. So many questions got caught in her throat, but she held them down. This wasn’t the place.
“Let’s go home,” Cassandra ordered quietly, scooping Todd up to sit on her hat.
“You’re better off just getting rid of him,” Benjamin said coolly. She frowned, but didn’t say a word to the bitter bat as she took off on her broom back home. To kill a familiar was basically unheard of. Witches and familiars formed soulbonds early in life and were supposed to be treated with the highest respect.
There was even a rumor that familiars were a witch’s direct connection to the goddess. Benjamin must have fallen completely out of favor for such an atrocious act.
“I can’t tell you anything other than this was not my will and that you have a lesson to learn,” Todd said softly as they soared through the clouds, pulling her from her musings.
If it wasn’t Todd that wanted her changed, then the rumor of familiars having connections to the divine must be true. But what lesson did she need to learn?
Lately she’d been rather fixated on circumventing the limitations of her sight. Not being able to see her own future had put other people’s lives at risk. If she was too close to the situation, she wouldn’t be able to predict the outcome and people would die. Just like that little girl…
As they flew closer to her little house in the woods, she noticed plumes of smoke in the distance.
“The village!!” she cried, speeding her old broom toward the commotion. Landing just inside the treeline, she rushed into the chaos and realized the butcher’s shop has nothing more than a smoldering pile. People were rushing about with buckets of well water, trying to douse the last few flames. A little boy cried off to the side in his mother’s arms. She knew that family and one person was noticeably absent from the chaos.
No one paid the little black cat with tears welling up in her eyes any mind. Todd patted her ears softly.
“Why didn’t I see it? I wasn’t even here..I should have been able to see it…” she mumbled, tears falling freely.
She couldn’t watch anymore. Cassandra walked slowly back to her little house in the woods, mind still stuck on their grief-stricken faces. Through it all, Todd said nothing and kept patting her ears soothingly.
Suddenly, she had a wild thought. What if this was the lesson? She had always assumed she couldn’t see her own future, but what if that wasn’t the case at all?
What if she only saw events she was meant to stop?
It seemed like a justification for her own inadequacy, but it also seemed unrealistic to task her with saving everyone, all the time. She wanted to use her gift to save people, but perhaps some people couldn’t be saved…
A weight seemed to lift from her furry shoulders and she sighed.
“You’ve learned the lesson well. I’ll grant you one wish as a reward,” an unfamiliar voice said. Cassandra jumped before she realized the feminine voice was coming from Todd’s mouth. His eyes were unfocused like he was in a trance.
Realizing just who was speaking to her, she bowed her head in deference. Her paws were shaking a bit. It’s not every day a deity speaks to you after all.
“I-I wish…” she trailed off, her eyes landing on her longest friend. “I wish I was human again, but with the ability to speak with Todd like I do now. I can tell he’s lonely and I don’t want to go back to not talking with him.”
Her friend’s mouth curved into a knowing smile and the goddess said, “As you wish.”
I hope you enjoyed the story and this peak behind the curtain of being a designer. This article was incredibly fun for me to write since I don’t often lay out my process so if that’s something you want to see more of, leave a comment below!
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